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Nationalisation of the Railways 12:06 - Dec 11 with 549 viewsclive_baker

And the economics of it. Operationally, British Rail had become something of a joke in the 70's for it's quality of services and reliability, but forget that for a second and let's work on the assumption that a publicly owner rail operation can be as good as if not more reliable than the private operators, and let's also assume the operation can be run as efficiently as it is currently (although perhaps Labours minimum wage proposals will increase the staff costs).

Labour are proposing a 33% reduction in rail travel costs, as well as free train travel for U16's. Rail revenues currently stand at c. £10bn per annum, with an average net profit of 2% across the private operators. Assuming the 33% reduction is delivered, and all other things being equal, how does the government propose to fill the £3bn+ bottom line losses? Labours manifesto proposes increasing vehicle excise duty, but surely not to that extent, which would represent a 50% uplift. Car drivers paying for train travel subsidies essentially. Genuine question for anyone who is more clued up on this than me.
[Post edited 11 Dec 2019 12:08]

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Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:12 - Dec 11 with 516 viewsStokieBlue

They said 2bn would come from the excise duty and the rest would be made up of increased income from more people using the trains. Not sure how they quantify that but pretty sure that's the rationale.

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Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:16 - Dec 11 with 498 viewsClapham_Junction

I don't know, but I presume it would be more heavily subsidised like in many other countries. Germany spends around €17bn a year on rail subsidies and France €13bn. For the UK its less than €5bn - we spend almost the same amount as Switzerland, whose population is less than a fifth of ours.

If we as a country are serious about reducing transport-related carbon emissions, getting as many people out of private cars as possible is a must-do.
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Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:20 - Dec 11 with 473 viewsclive_baker

Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:16 - Dec 11 by Clapham_Junction

I don't know, but I presume it would be more heavily subsidised like in many other countries. Germany spends around €17bn a year on rail subsidies and France €13bn. For the UK its less than €5bn - we spend almost the same amount as Switzerland, whose population is less than a fifth of ours.

If we as a country are serious about reducing transport-related carbon emissions, getting as many people out of private cars as possible is a must-do.


I don't disagree, the more people travelling by train vs. car the better, and yes the reality is that there will certainly need to be more heavily subsidised, to the tune of an additional £3bn based on my crude maths, with all other things being equal. I'm just wondering where that £3bn has been ring fenced to come from, unless it's all from Vehicle Excise Duty which feels like a lot given that's only £6bn currently. Biggest issue we face with regards to the rail network here is the legacy maintenance costs. As lovely as a lot of our Victorian railway stations are, they're not cheap to upkeep.

Edit: PS love that Clapham Junction has commented on the trains. If anyone should know a thing or 2 :-)
[Post edited 11 Dec 2019 12:21]

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Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:26 - Dec 11 with 446 viewsBLUEBEAT

If anybody needs a (very) basic insight into how the NHS will change under a continued Tory government, they only need look at the UK rail network of today. And then factor in a massive quantity of needless pain and death. And expense.

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Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:30 - Dec 11 with 434 viewsClapham_Junction

Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:20 - Dec 11 by clive_baker

I don't disagree, the more people travelling by train vs. car the better, and yes the reality is that there will certainly need to be more heavily subsidised, to the tune of an additional £3bn based on my crude maths, with all other things being equal. I'm just wondering where that £3bn has been ring fenced to come from, unless it's all from Vehicle Excise Duty which feels like a lot given that's only £6bn currently. Biggest issue we face with regards to the rail network here is the legacy maintenance costs. As lovely as a lot of our Victorian railway stations are, they're not cheap to upkeep.

Edit: PS love that Clapham Junction has commented on the trains. If anyone should know a thing or 2 :-)
[Post edited 11 Dec 2019 12:21]


I would imagine there's also a decent saving to be had from defragmenting the railways again - for example, no more Network Rail having to pay compensation to the train operators for delays. If they're planning to do away with the ROSCOs and take other services back in house, then there's potential for more savings, some of which will be long-term and others short-term.

Unfortunately the current government has forced Network Rail to sell off its property portfolio (which brought in a decent revenue stream to help offset the cost of maintenance) - more short-sighted thinking that will have a long-term financial impact (as well as the negative impact on the tenants of said properties).
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Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:32 - Dec 11 with 427 viewsbrazil1982

I use the train network to commute and it's generally awful (Northern). However, giving away free travel to the U16s will make this even more overcrowded.

Yes I would like a lower priced season ticket but I would prefer trains to run on time and in the main that's a signalling issue / Network Rail issue which is I understand government run. I really don't know what the answer is. Tear up the tracks and start again? Possibly.
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Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:39 - Dec 11 with 416 viewsclive_baker

Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:32 - Dec 11 by brazil1982

I use the train network to commute and it's generally awful (Northern). However, giving away free travel to the U16s will make this even more overcrowded.

Yes I would like a lower priced season ticket but I would prefer trains to run on time and in the main that's a signalling issue / Network Rail issue which is I understand government run. I really don't know what the answer is. Tear up the tracks and start again? Possibly.


Yep, 70% of delays and cancellations are a result of the infrastructure / Network Rail rather than the operators, which is the public piece of the jigsaw already. I think ultimately fares have to come down to encourage more people on to trains, as it's cost that's prohibitive to so many people at the moment. Reducing car travel and increasing train usage should ultimately be more environmentally friendly, but perhaps the answer lies in making the private operation more competitive through additional operators, rather than nationalising it. I think it certainly needs increased subsidy to bring down ticket costs.

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Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:43 - Dec 11 with 406 viewsBlueBadger

Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:26 - Dec 11 by BLUEBEAT

If anybody needs a (very) basic insight into how the NHS will change under a continued Tory government, they only need look at the UK rail network of today. And then factor in a massive quantity of needless pain and death. And expense.


The care home sector is another one. Residential care has, to all intents and purposes been privatised since the early 90's. Endless reports of poor care, neglect, endless churn of staff, poor standards of training....

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Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:50 - Dec 11 with 381 viewsclive_baker

Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:43 - Dec 11 by BlueBadger

The care home sector is another one. Residential care has, to all intents and purposes been privatised since the early 90's. Endless reports of poor care, neglect, endless churn of staff, poor standards of training....


That's an interesting sector. I think it was about 2010 that a large proportion of Suffolk state care homes moved over to the private sector. There were 50 state owned care homes which were costing the tax payer an average of £1,000 per bed, per week. They went to tender to the private sector and were won by 2 large operators, bringing the cost to the state down to about £700 per bed, per week. However, the controls need to be in place to make sure the level of care that's provided is better than what existed previously, and corners aren't cut by the private businesses who are more interested in providing a return to their shareholders.

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Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:52 - Dec 11 with 379 viewsHennikerBlu

Something that seems to have slipped below the radar (due in 2023) is the EU's Fourth Rail Package , here are a couple of paragraphs from the link below:

"Under the Fourth Rail Package, subsidised routes will have to be put out to open tender, and private companies be allowed to bid for them in a commercial process. The existing state incumbents will also be able to bid – and in many cases they will win; in others, they will not. In some circumstances governments will still be allowed to “direct award” smaller contracts to the public companies, but only if they set binding targets on punctuality and passenger satisfaction. If the targets are missed for any reason at all, the contract must be opened up to the private sector."

"This is the situation, whether you think it is good thing or bad thing. A UK government committed to public ownership for the whole railway could perhaps try and ignore the regulations, facing down Brussels – though as our experience with Brexit shows, we're not very good at that. Going rogue would also leave the government open to being taken to the European Court of Justice by private companies angry that they are missing out on lucrative contracts; it could also face infringement action from the Commission. Alternatively, the UK could work to try and change the EU’s rules – though it would be swimming against a very powerful tide."

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-eu-railways-eu-rules-natio

This certainly rather complicates matters and I see very little discussion about this in the media in relation to Labour's manifesto pledge. In fairness renationalisation has fairly broad and popular support in the UK. However, I cannot see a pro-EU UK Government going against the EU on this matter, especially as the rule of law has been a popular element of the last UK Parliament in defence of our EU relationship.
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Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:54 - Dec 11 with 368 viewsTractorWood

Agree. I think it's fantasy. National rail is publicly owned and it's been a disaster of late. Perpetual can kicking on cross-rail and the absolute horlicks of the timetable rescheduling.

I know that was then, but it could be again..
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Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:59 - Dec 11 with 345 viewsBlueBadger

Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:50 - Dec 11 by clive_baker

That's an interesting sector. I think it was about 2010 that a large proportion of Suffolk state care homes moved over to the private sector. There were 50 state owned care homes which were costing the tax payer an average of £1,000 per bed, per week. They went to tender to the private sector and were won by 2 large operators, bringing the cost to the state down to about £700 per bed, per week. However, the controls need to be in place to make sure the level of care that's provided is better than what existed previously, and corners aren't cut by the private businesses who are more interested in providing a return to their shareholders.


Boris and his mates, stupid as they may be, will not be stupid enough to do an overt privatisation of the NHS. What they *will* do is have 'NHS' on letterheads and buildings for 'brand recognition' but services will be run by profiteers reaping profits from an unregulated 'internal market' funded by YOUR NI contributions on an even larger scale than we have now. A US trade deal will see something like CCGs being pressured or even obliged to add extra weighting to US companies when considering bidders.
There is anecdotal, not hard numeric evidence I will say, that suggests that CCGS have been 'advised' to accept uneconomic bids for service contracts to 'encourage providers into the market' - In English - 'they can't do this but we have to make one because the government says we have to'.
A lot of services will become narrower in their focus, because into order to protect profits, private sector providers will pass anything remotely complicated('complicated' is, amusingly enough A Fairly Complicated Term), to an ever-smaller sector which is truly publicly run. It'll be wonderful for the young and/or fit with 'single issue' conditions(like My Mate Dave Who Did His Shoulder On A Scaffolding Job) but terrible for the those (Like Dave's Poor Old Mum Who Does Very Well Considering) with a combination of acute and chronic conditions.
The 2012 Health and Social Care Act enshrines into law the obligation to tender out services. Another Tory government facing economic issues post-Brexit(don't even argue that sh1t, there will be) will be DESPERATE to do trade deals and the first thing on the slate will be public services, ALL public services. Including healthcare. They won't charge you insurance, you won't pay 'at point on contact' straight away, but the quality and accessibility of what you can access will erode and erode and erode until you're saying 'no, it makes sense to take out insurance because you can't guarantee the NHS can cover you for treatment of your out-of-the-blue*insert medical condition here*'
DON'T VOTE TORY.

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Nationalisation of the Railways on 13:04 - Dec 11 with 327 viewsclive_baker

Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:52 - Dec 11 by HennikerBlu

Something that seems to have slipped below the radar (due in 2023) is the EU's Fourth Rail Package , here are a couple of paragraphs from the link below:

"Under the Fourth Rail Package, subsidised routes will have to be put out to open tender, and private companies be allowed to bid for them in a commercial process. The existing state incumbents will also be able to bid – and in many cases they will win; in others, they will not. In some circumstances governments will still be allowed to “direct award” smaller contracts to the public companies, but only if they set binding targets on punctuality and passenger satisfaction. If the targets are missed for any reason at all, the contract must be opened up to the private sector."

"This is the situation, whether you think it is good thing or bad thing. A UK government committed to public ownership for the whole railway could perhaps try and ignore the regulations, facing down Brussels – though as our experience with Brexit shows, we're not very good at that. Going rogue would also leave the government open to being taken to the European Court of Justice by private companies angry that they are missing out on lucrative contracts; it could also face infringement action from the Commission. Alternatively, the UK could work to try and change the EU’s rules – though it would be swimming against a very powerful tide."

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-eu-railways-eu-rules-natio

This certainly rather complicates matters and I see very little discussion about this in the media in relation to Labour's manifesto pledge. In fairness renationalisation has fairly broad and popular support in the UK. However, I cannot see a pro-EU UK Government going against the EU on this matter, especially as the rule of law has been a popular element of the last UK Parliament in defence of our EU relationship.


I wasn't aware of this. If we remain in the EU, full nationalisation of the UK rail network couldn't be guaranteed anyway, per this initiative, and feels highly unlikely to be achieved. Certainly adds an interesting layer of complexity to Labour's proposal, particularly given their neutral stance on Brexit. I struggle to see how that could be regulated though, as long as the public sector operation 'tendered' for the operation, who determines who wins it? Surely they could all just not be awarded to the private operator. Or give them a token few smaller areas that are negligible in the context of the whole network.

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Nationalisation of the Railways on 13:06 - Dec 11 with 323 viewsPinewoodblue

Why nationalise. The train operators will gladly hand back the running once they realise they won’t make any money.

The biggest problem, going forward, is if you reduce fares you increase demand and put even more pressure on the network leading to a need to substantially increase investment above current levels.

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Nationalisation of the Railways on 13:53 - Dec 11 with 272 viewsBlueBadger

Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:39 - Dec 11 by clive_baker

Yep, 70% of delays and cancellations are a result of the infrastructure / Network Rail rather than the operators, which is the public piece of the jigsaw already. I think ultimately fares have to come down to encourage more people on to trains, as it's cost that's prohibitive to so many people at the moment. Reducing car travel and increasing train usage should ultimately be more environmentally friendly, but perhaps the answer lies in making the private operation more competitive through additional operators, rather than nationalising it. I think it certainly needs increased subsidy to bring down ticket costs.


I'm not sure that the general public should be subsiding the pockets of shareholders of failing private companies even more than they do already.

These people are called idiots and BB is their leader.
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Nationalisation of the Railways on 13:54 - Dec 11 with 270 viewsClapham_Junction

Nationalisation of the Railways on 12:50 - Dec 11 by clive_baker

That's an interesting sector. I think it was about 2010 that a large proportion of Suffolk state care homes moved over to the private sector. There were 50 state owned care homes which were costing the tax payer an average of £1,000 per bed, per week. They went to tender to the private sector and were won by 2 large operators, bringing the cost to the state down to about £700 per bed, per week. However, the controls need to be in place to make sure the level of care that's provided is better than what existed previously, and corners aren't cut by the private businesses who are more interested in providing a return to their shareholders.


I think you might be confusing Suffolk with somewhere else. The county council had 16 care homes, which it gave to Care UK in 2012.

The county council ones did cost more to run, but I think this was largely because they paid their staff well (and had them enrolled in the local government pension scheme). My grandfather was in a county council home (Angel Court in Hadleigh) and was later transferred to a couple of private ones in Melford and Cornard. The noticeable difference was that almost all the staff I met in the county council ones (which I also visited regularly for work) were British, and virtually all the staff in the private ones were foreign workers - I suspect due to the difference in pay.
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Nationalisation of the Railways on 14:03 - Dec 11 with 254 viewsclive_baker

Nationalisation of the Railways on 13:54 - Dec 11 by Clapham_Junction

I think you might be confusing Suffolk with somewhere else. The county council had 16 care homes, which it gave to Care UK in 2012.

The county council ones did cost more to run, but I think this was largely because they paid their staff well (and had them enrolled in the local government pension scheme). My grandfather was in a county council home (Angel Court in Hadleigh) and was later transferred to a couple of private ones in Melford and Cornard. The noticeable difference was that almost all the staff I met in the county council ones (which I also visited regularly for work) were British, and virtually all the staff in the private ones were foreign workers - I suspect due to the difference in pay.


That was it, Care UK (Colchester based I think). The 50 figure might have been Suffolk + Essex, I can't quite remember. A handful of North London operations around Enfield also moved to a provider at the same time which Care UK tendered for but didn't win. The private providers can benefit from economies of scale, the likes of Care UK for example only won a lot of those contracts if they could absorb the 'beds' into their homes that also had private provision, where they charged more for the care. I think Care UK's record in terms of care quality actually stands up quite well per CQC reviews, but the same definitely can't be said of many of these private homes.

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